The Valley of the Queens

I thought that the most interesting part of the reading this week was learning more about the “Valley of the Queens”.  I have studied the “Valley of the Kings” in past world history classes but have never actually heard of the “Valley of the Queens” until this class.  The Egyptian queens, along with princesses and princes, were buried in the Theban hills, which is commonly known as the “Valley of the Queens”.  This region was first excavated by Ernesto Schiaparelli and Francesco Ballerini between 1903 and 1905.  Since 1984, investigations have been conducted in this area by the Egyptian Center of Documentation and the French National Center for Scientific Research.  The two main groups of tombs found in the Valley of the Queens date from the reigns of Rameses II and Rameses III.  It is know that the Ramessid tombs were constructed, as well as decorated, by workmen from Deir el-Medina.  Tombs in this area that were robbed during the Third Intermediate Period and Late Period were reused as burials of human and animal mummies.  It is estimated that over 100 human mummies have been recovered in this area.  The most well-known tomb in the Valley of the Queens is the tomb of Rameses II’s chief wife, Nefertari.  However, because of damage from underground water, the tomb was closed for the late 20th century.  Fortunately, the Getty Conservation Institute, with the help of the Egyptian Antiquities Organization, was able to restore the painted scenes that were found on the plastered walls in the tomb and can be visited today.  These decorated scenes include different gods “relevant to her journey, and texts from the Book of Gates and the Book of the Dead” (250).  The texts that were found in Nefertari’s tomb are very rare things to find, even in kings’ tombs.  In conclusion, this summary provides an overview of the information concerning the Valley of the Queens that was discussed in this week’s reading.



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About dovialli

Hey everybody! My name is Allison and I am from Fairfax Station, VA. I am graduating from Michigan State University this summer with a BS in Psychology and an additional major in Anthropology. Woot woot! Then, I'm off to Texas to get my PhD in School Psychology from University of Houston!

One thought on “The Valley of the Queens

  1. So, I was commenting on your blog about the Valley of Queens and noticed that you replied to my blog about grave robbing, which I thought was very funny. Obviously, we are both interested in the Valley of Queens and grave robbing. I thought your reply was interesting because I too have never heard of the Valley of Queens. Many people have heard about the Valley of Kings, but the Valley of Queens is not as well known. The Egyptians may have made the Valley of Queens because women were becoming increasingly more important and gaining more power. One such woman was Hatshepsut, who was co-regent and then pharaoh. Her tomb is even in the Valley of Kings. Another powerful woman was Nefertari, who was buried in the Valley of Queens. These two queens are some of the most famous queens in Egypt. As you stated Nefertari’s tomb consists of texts and artwork, which were rare even for kings. I thought this very interesting that a woman, even if she is the queen, has these texts when other kings do not. It shows the increasing importance of women and that Nefertari was well liked. Those who created Nefertari’s tomb obviously wanted her to have a successful after life because the spells in the Book of the Dead are supposed to help the deceased overcome foes and dangers. I also found it interesting as you said the robbed tombs were reused for burials of human and animal mummies. I am not sure, if the people needed the space for the new mummies, or if they were just too lazy to make their own tombs. They might have even thought that because the tombs had paintings and text already they might help the new deceased in the afterlife as well. Overall I thought your post was very enjoyable.

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